Karl Jensen


Culture

The Employee First Culture – and why it works like a charm

Posted by Karl Jensen on
The Employee First Culture – and why it works like a charm

Customers are powerful, that’s right. And more so in this age of online shopping and disruptive services that have created a firm conformity to customer-centricity and personalization. But the modern business scene is changing fast, which calls for forward-thinking business leaders to come up with new analogies and solutions. Today’s workforce is much more attuned to ethical practices and a positive workplace culture. Given that employees spend about 33% of their time at your workplace, they need an environment that is supporting, motivating, respectful, and rewarding. This article explores the employee first culture that’s taking root across America, and how it can be immensely rewarding.

1.It helps you stay ahead

Technology has turned the world into one small global village. Competition is fierce than ever – in every sector. Customers have enormous choice when it comes to buying the right products and services. To stand out of the crowd, you need to draw on the full potential of your workforce. You need ideas, innovation, and more so trust to stay ahead of the competition. There’s no better way do to this than to put your workers first. When employees feel that they are valued members of a community, they tend to give their very best.

You can foster an employee first culture by listening to your workers, and bringing them to the decision making process. You’ll need trust on both sides in order to achieve this. When there’s trust, employees know that you value them, and will be comfortable voicing their genuine ideas about products, services, and the company’s future.

2.It motivates employees to go the extra mile

Research carried out by recruitment firm HAYS shows that 71% of Americans would allow a pay cut if it meant securing their ideal job. Clearly, motivation is not all about money. People spend so much of their waking life at work and all they want is to have a rewarding, fulfilling job. When your employees know that they are acknowledged and valued, they feel connected to the company’s vision and mission. They’ll be willing to go to great lengths on behalf of the company.

Leadership support is key to motivating your workforce. In fact, 91% of workers say that they feel motivated to give their best when leadership support is present. That’s according to a study carried out by the American Psychological Association.

3.It lowers staff turnover

Each time an employee leaves, it takes up to 33% of their annual salary to find a replacement. That’s according to a study carried out by the Work Institute. But that’s not all. Whenever you lose a talented employee, you’re losing all the experience that they have mastered, as well as their skill level. The real cost of staff turnover can be cost. Putting employees first is perhaps the best way to retain the top talent that your organization needs to be successful. Employees who do feel that their jobs have meaning exhibit a higher level of loyalty. And this is more so true for younger workers. By fostering mutual respect in the workplace, and showing your team that you care about them, you’ll be feeding directly into your vision, mission, and values.

4.It’s a precursor for great customer service

Companies that treat employees well attract higher levels of loyalty and customer service. Highly engaged employees that are equipped with the tools to enact change have the psychological freedom they need to deliver exceptional service. Whenever they approach each customer, they don’t feel tied up to strict governing rules. They feel they have the company’s trust to engage their experience and inter-personal skills so they can fulfil the needs of every customer. That kind of takes us to the ‘customer is always right’ mantra. If you put employees first, then they’ll put your customers first. It’s that simple.

Conclusion

Employees are your #1 most valuable resource. And yet – so many companies fail to enact fair and equal treatment in the workplace. When you ignore or treat employees poorly, there’s so much that could go wrong. Your staff turnover could shoot up, leading to financial loss as well as invaluable losses in terms of skill and experience. Motivated employees will treat your customers right and help your business grow. But the opposite is also true. However much you sing the ‘customers is always right’ song, nothing is ever going to come out of it if you do not make your employees happy first.

What tips do you use to keep your employees happy, motivated, and engaged? Share with us.

Heroes

Modern-Day Heroes: 5 Low-Paying but Noble Careers

Posted by Karl Jensen on
Modern-Day Heroes: 5 Low-Paying but Noble Careers

Amidst the financial crisis that has wreaked havoc on the lives and livelihoods of millions across the globe, earning a living wage—one that is able to support all the basic needs of a family—has become a constant struggle for most people. More and more people are forced by circumstances to take on two or more jobs to support their families, and the career choices of the younger generation are often determined by how lucrative a job is. Money, as they say, is the name of the game and many are forsaking their personal dreams for the sake of putting food on the table.

However, there are still those who, either because of sheer passion or the lack of other opportunities, take on jobs whose pay is less than stellar, yet are vital to the economic growth of society. These low-paying but noble careers are often overlooked by jobseekers and financial analysts alike, but whose impact on society remains immeasurable. These thankless yet important career choices include:

Small-scale farmers, fisherfolk and agricultural workers
: This is especially true for third world countries where small-scale farmers, fisherfolk and other agricultural workers produce food for the country yet are often left with pitiful earnings barely able to cover their basic needs. They are also the ones responsible for growing agricultural products for export, thereby fuelling the economy of their home country, but are not compensated accordingly.

Domestic helpers: Nannies, cleaners, gardeners and other domestic helpers perform tasks that may be seen as lowly, but are actually crucial for the efficient functioning of a household. Because majority of the people employed as domestic helpers are ethnic minorities or migrants with limited opportunities, they often perform strenuous work with long hours for very small wages. Indeed, despite the existence of appropriate legislation mandating a minimum wage for domestic helpers, many of them often receive salaries significantly lower than the minimum wage.

Teachers: Teachers often come to mind when discussing noble, yet low-paying professions and this cliché has been reinforced by the consistently low salary rates received by teachers, especially those teaching in public schools. Despite being tasked with the important work of molding the minds of the next generation, overworked and underpaid teachers are becoming more and more common, especially as the ongoing financial crisis has urged governments across the world to cut State subsidies for the education sector.

Manual laborers, such as roofers, plumbers, public transport drivers and the like: Manual laborers, including those who take on odd jobs, often perform skilled tasks that are risky, yet extremely necessary. In exchange for their services, manual laborers remain as one of the most underappreciated sectors of society, with pay scales often looming close to the poverty line.

Department store and fast-food chain employees: Tasked with providing uncomplaining assistance to their customers 24/7, department stores and fast-food chain employees play an important role in making your shopping or dining experience pleasant and fuss-free. Yet, as the recent protests by Walmart employees show, many department store and fast-food employees who greet you with a smile often go home to their families with salaries far below the living wage.

Employees

X excellent tips to take care of your employees

Posted by Karl Jensen on
X excellent tips to take care of your employees

Ethical practices have a huge impact on staff. According to a JUST Capital survey, about 8 out of every 10 American workers are willing to work at a lower pay if they perceive their organization to be ‘just’. This says a lot about the role of trust, respect, and fair treatment in the workplace. You have the power to create a really enviable, extraordinary team. Organizations that are committed to employee satisfaction are way ahead of the pack. In this post, we look at X great ways to put your employees first for the overall good of your business.

1.Believe in your team

To get the most from your business’s talent pool, you really have to believe in them and support them unconditionally. This means that you see all your team members as A-players who should be treated as such. Invest time and resources on their growth, coach them, and help them mature their personal greatness. Challenging and motivating employees takes leadership vision – not threats and micromanagement. Think about how you can offer praise and rewards for hard work, as well as promote mutual respect and other ethical practices that will make people feel great about working for your company.

2.Foster unit through caring

Cultivating a positive workplace culture is indeed one of the best ways to put your employees first. But this is easier said than done. The goal for business owners and decision makers is to get employees to buy into a cause that is greater than their own motives. Caring for your team so much that they’ll be willing to give up personal gain for the good of other team members, and the cause. This culture of caring should be a consistent way in which you treat your employees. Every company should find a creative way to provide acceptance, approval, appreciation, affection and attention to its team members – throughout everyday operations.

3.Make employee satisfaction a priority

Companies conduct customer satisfaction surveys all the time. But very few regularly gauge and monitor the satisfaction level of their staff members. Failure to prioritize employee satisfaction means that your teams will feel less engaged about the work they do for your organization. The best way to improve employee satisfaction level is to create a culture where employees love to come to work. Collect feedback and talk to your employees about the issues that matter to them – whether they like the product they’re promoting, their ideal commute times, etc. When your staff members feel satisfied, they’ll be more productive and eager to perform.

4.Encourage employee growth

Your company won’t grow if your employees aren’t growing. Visionary leaders work to push employees beyond self-limiting boundaries. Companies that care about their employees help people reach their own professional goals. Consider offering benefits such as education reimbursement and feedback meetings. Any chance that you have to empower your team members to learn new things and push them outside the comfort zone will suffice.

5.Integrate wellness into the workday

Leaders cannot effectively put employees first unless they focus on all aspects of the employee. That includes things such as health. Companies that prioritize personal wellness and infuse it into the organizational culture all year round prove that they care about their employees. Think about hosing wellness-themed events, maybe yoga classes, and so on.

6.Practice radical openness

If you drop the bomb during annual reviews but say nothing on a daily basis, your staff will end up angry and confused. People will think that you were not honest with them upfront when it really mattered, and when they could have done something about it. They’ll definitely won’t understand why you have to bring up the issue(s) months later. Practice radical honesty in your organization, but in a respectful way. When someone does very well, speak up, And when an employee makes errors, point that out right away. Always give your team members an opportunity to rectify their mistakes.

7.Put people before profits

Your employees should be treated as people, not commodities. If someone did not perform well, your first reaction might be to remove responsibilities, lower the boom or even make threats. Often, this kind of feedback will backfire. Someone could be performing poorly because they are agonizing over something that you are not even aware about. So when you see that a certain staff members is contributing less than they should, this gives you an opportunity to learn more. Maybe there’s an underlying issue, or they probably need more coaching. Any underlying support that you give to your employees will be passed along to customers.

Employees

X Companies that Put Their Employees First

Posted by Karl Jensen on
X Companies that Put Their Employees First

In Annual General Meetings and boardroom conventions, CEOs love to talk about how their people are their greatest asset. In everyday business practice, though, very few of these  executives manage to translate such claims into action. Companies that truly put their employees first cultivate workplace respect, encourage educational pursuits, professional growth, and increased satisfaction of their workforce. As a result, they attract a pool of highly skilled (and happy) employees with very low turnover rates. Based on employees input and information gathered from job industry authorities such as Glassdoor and Fortune.com, this is our list of the best workplaces in 2019.

1.Bain & Company

Bain & Company is a leading management consulting firm that advises leaders on marketing operations, strategy, IT, and areas. The company is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, employees more than 6,000 people, and has an office presence in over 57 global cities.

Glassdoor.com has rated Bain & Company among the top companies to work in for all years in a row since 2010. The company was ranked the #1 best workplace in 2019. Employees love that the company care about their careers within the company as well as beyond. There’s an amazing culture and a really supportive environment.

2.Salesforce

Salesforce – the San Francisco based CRM software solution – really cares about empowering its workforce and improving the community around it. Salesforce is known to walk the talk, unlike many other top companies that simply make bold claims and do very little action wise.

Employees enjoy a sense of inspiration that comes from the firm’s leadership taking a firm stand on social issues, and volunteerism a major part of working here. Back in 2016, Salesforce spent about $3 million to achieve virtually equal pay for positions across demographics. Some of the world-renowned benefits that employees enjoy here include sabbatical leave, unlimited vacation time, and a very generous 401k policy. Employees get 7 days of paid volunteer time each year. What’s more, the company will much every charitable donation made an employee (dollar for dollar) up to $5,000.

3.Hilton

For many years in a row, Hilton has been the #1 coveted price for employees in the hospitality industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company employs over 161,000 employees across the world. It ranks among the best employers in Australia, Brazil, UK, United States, China, Saudi Arabia, among many other countries.

Hilton employees embody the very hospitality that they show to their guests. There’s a very friendly culture here, and employees see their leaders as accessible and approachable. Although the company is over 100 years old, they love to act like a new startup that is keen on nourishing new ideas and innovation.

4.Zoom Video Communications

Zoom is a leader in enterprise video communications. They provide an easy and reliable cloud platform for seamless audio and video conferencing, chat, collaboration, and webinars on all devices. Zoom is headquartered in San Jose, California and employs over a 1,000 people.

What makes this among the best workplaces in 2019 is the fantastic culture of ‘Happiness’ at the company. Employees here feel it daily and look forward to coming to work because they feel cared for.

5.In-N-Out Burger

This is one of those restaurants where you can just close your eyes and imagine taking that delicious first bite. They serve a selection of cheeseburgers, hamburgers, French fries, shakes, and more. This eatery treats their employees right and you can see that right out of their smiles as they serve the not-so-secret menu. With great training and an excellent support structure, In-N-Out Burger offers some of the best opportunities to advance both in store and corporate.

6.Procore Technologies

Procore’s is the world’s top construction management software. They have a universal platform that connects everyone and everything that is needed for a streamlined project. Procore is based in Carpinteria, California and employs over 1,000 individuals.

Their most distinct advantage is the opportunity for career growth. This company is bent on making its employees better and letting them pursue their interests.

7.Boston Consulting Group

Based in Boston, Massachusetts, the Boston Consulting Group is one of the world’s top advisors on business strategy. They partner with a global pool of clients to identify the highest-value opportunities.

Some of the best things about working here is the work-and-life balance. They also have amazing benefits, a people-focused approach, and a positive organizational culture. Although the work they do here is challenging, employees get to enjoy a family feeling at the offices, and many benefits such as yoga, massage, PT-trainings, naprapathy, tennis, and more.

8.LinkedIn

This Mountain View, California based company connects the world’s professionals and has transformed the way companies hire, market and sell. More than 5,000 employees work here to create economic opportunity for the global workforce.

Many employees who work at this technology giant say they are happy with the company’s vision. They feel that they are working to change the world for better, while being rewarded handsomely for doing just that. The work culture at LinkedIn is amazing with awesome perks.

9.Facebook

Social Media giant Facebook cares so much about its employees. A sustainable work environment that encourages employees to care for themselves is part of the culture here.

The company offers incredible perks and benefits including free breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as an unlimited amount of snacks and drinks in between. Facebook’s international headquarters in California is the ultimate techie’s dream. It has a barbershop, gym, bike repair center, restaurants, clothes store, video arcade, and a lot of other amenities that make it a self-sustaining workplace. And that’s not where it ends. Facebook takes its employees’ personal matters very seriously. They’ll give parents with newborn babies a lot of money (known as ‘baby cash’) and offer a lot of support in many different areas.

10.Alphabet

Based in Mountain View, California, Alphabet is Google’s parent company. This tech giant offers some of the best perks for its employees, including benefits, compensation, and career opportunities. They also have an industry leading 401k plan. In terms of the environment, the company ranks very highly for water, electricity and fuel efficiency.

Alphabet is an industry leader based on the number of Americans it employees. People who work love the company culture that encourages respect and valuable relationships.

11.Lululemon

Lululemon is headquartered in Vancouver, BC (Canada) and has business locations across Canada, the United States, Australia, Hong Kong, and New Zealand. The company employs over a 1,000 people and focuses on creating components that’ll help people live longer, healthier and ‘more fun’ lives.

Employee at this firm say they are incredibly happy about the fun and supportive environment. The personal development here is incredible because the company invests so much in everyone. Plus employees only need to work 25 hours per week to be considered full time.

Respect

How to cultivate respect in the workplace

Posted by Karl Jensen on
How to cultivate respect in the workplace

Often, then the pressure’s on, the people you work with start to change. The workplace responsibilities and demands placed on an employee influences how they behave. This impacts interpersonal relationships and soon you start to experience the domino effect of your fast-paced work environment. This environment, combined with the speed that most modern workplaces demand, electronics, and pressure to deliver, lead to increased incidences of isolation and bullying. All this has a damaging effect on your organizational culture. The antidote is to cultivate a culture of respect where diversity is valued, and where each and every employee feels that their contribution is recognized and acknowledged.

Importance of respect in the workplace

In today’s workplace, diversity is no longer constrained to physical attributes such as race, religion, and gender. It also entails differences in personalities, working styles, and generational differences. Embracing workplace diversity is very important because it increases your organization’s talent pool, as well as brings new ideas, skills, and perspectives to your workforce. The more diverse organizations are, the more diverse they tend to be. Business leaders and decision makers need to constantly emphasize the importance of respect in the workplace in order to achieve these goals.

There are a thousand and one reasons why colleagues might disagree at work. It might be differences in work styles, how to complete a project, or how to solve a particular problem. It’s okay for employees to have different outlooks on how things progress. What’s important though is that your employees understand the importance of being respectful and professional while engaging in discussions. Whether you’re a business owner, manager or employee, you want to feel like your presence is respected, and that your ideas are acknowledged. This can be achieved by cultivating respect to create a spirited workplace environment with low staff turnover.

Some of the benefits of mutual respect in the workplace include:

Reduces workplace conflicts and stress – workplace environments where there’s respect will result in improved communication between individuals. This ultimately increases teamwork, as well as reduces the incidence of conflicts and stress in the workplace.

Increases understanding and productivity – organizations that emphasize respect encourage the exchange of ideas and knowledge, which can help increase innovation. Working proactively to reduce workplace politics and pettiness also increases productivity.

Increases employee satisfaction – respect in the workplace is a precursor for a more positive culture where your employees are satisfied, which results in lower staff turnover.

Creates a fair environment – a sense of fairness is established in the workplace when coworkers show respect for each other. Promoting a culture of respect will help eliminate the incidence of horseplay, harassment, and hazing. When the decision maker respect their employees, then there’s no room for harassment, bullying, or favoritism.

Improves the company’s bottom-line – relationship building and strengthening is the basis for quality work. When there’s respect and understanding, the workplace becomes a blessing, not a burden. Jealousy, backstabbing and harassment are replaced with joy, high fives, and pats on the back. When this positive culture continues, it certainly improves the company’s bottom-line.

Reduces liability – no organization wants their valued employees to feel discriminated against or threatened in the workplace. Respect in the workplace helps protect against this kind of discrimination because employees are treated equally and fairly regardless their personal characteristics. Organizations that lack a positive culture of respect and trust are riddled with incidences of sexual harassment, and discrimination based on age, color, ethnic origin, age, sexual orientation, or religion.

Respect

Developing a culture of respect

Posted by Karl Jensen on
Developing a culture of respect

Respectful treatment of all employees is the top contributor to job satisfaction. That’s according to a report released by the Society for Human Resource Management. Whether you just started a business or are part of an established organization, creating a culture of respect should be a priority.

Listen to each other – in all walks of life, communication is the cornerstone of human relationships. Encourage dialog by listening to what others are saying, and making them comfortable about sharing. This should be a continuing process throughout the year. Make sure you collect regular employee feedback so you can improve inter-employee communications at all levels in your organization.

Show people you care – so many organizations conduct scheduled surveys and yet do nothing with the findings. It’s important to share the findings of any feedback that has been provided, as well as appropriate action that’ll be taken, with your employees. Nobody wants to feel like their voices and views are falling into a black hole. If it’s no possible to take action on concerns that your employees have aired, let them know why. Transparency can go a long way to foster respect as trust as well.

Help each other – individuals who respect each other support each other. You want to create an environment where employees are not afraid to ask for help. This will ultimately make everyone comfortable and more effective at their job.

Reward respect with respect

Maintaining a culture of respect can be a difficult, ongoing task. Indeed, lack of respect is the cause for so many fines, damages, and business failures. Business owners and leaders who dedicate their organizations to respect create a solid foundation of success and growth. This can be done through investing in respect training, leading by example, punishing offenders, and rewarding employees for exemplary performance.

Respect in the workplace training

There are many workshops and online courses available on teaching respect in the workplace. In this kind of training, applicants (employees, business owners, managers, etc.) are taught how to accept value and respect differences in their workplaces. The focus is to create an environment where all employees can feel safe so they can contribute their greatest potential.

Among other things, these courses teach the principles of diversity and respect, benefits and challenges of diversity, influence of personal belief on behaviors, and strategies to support the organization.